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USTR is providing notice that consultations have been requested pursuant to the WTO
On September 17, 2012, the United States requested consultations with China concerning certain subsidies that appear to be contingent upon export performance provided to automobile and automobile-parts enterprises in China. Specifically, the United States is challenging various forms of export-contingent subsidies that China appears to provide through a program establishing “export bases” for the automobile and automobile-parts industries within China. China appears to provide export-contingent subsidies to the automobile and automobile-parts enterprises that are located in these “export bases” or that are designated as “export base” enterprises. To date, it appears that China has created automobile and automobile-parts “export bases” in the following twelve municipalities: Wuhan, Tianjin, Chongqing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hefei, Wuhu, Xiamen, Taizhou, Changchun, Baoding, Liuzhou, as well as in other localities in the provinces of Jiangsu, Shandong, Shanxi, Henan, Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang, Liaoning, Hunan, Zhejiang, Yunnan, Guangdong, Fujian, Anhui, and Beijing city.
In its request for consultations, the United States identified measures that appear to provide the subsidies through China's automobile and automobile-parts “export bases” that include, but are not limited to, the following legal instruments, operating separately or collectively, as well as any amendments, or related, successor, replacement, or implementing measures: Policy on Development of Automotive Industry; Policies for Automobile Trade; Notice Regarding Application for National Automobile and Automobile Parts Export Base Enterprises; Circular of the State Council on Printing, Distributing and Implementing Several Supporting Policies for the Outline of National Medium- and Long-Term Science and Technology Development Plan (2006-2020); Circular of the General Office of the State Council on Forwarding the Several Opinions of MOFCOM and other Departments on the 11th FYP for Electromechanical Exports Growth Model; Decision To Designate 8 National Automobile and Automobile Parts Export Bases, MOFCOM; MOFCOM, NDRC Names 160 Companies as National Export Base Enterprises; Interim Measures on the Management of Fund for Optimizing Import and Export Structure of Electromechanical and High-Tech Products, Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Finance; MOFCOM, NDRC Conference Notice on National Automobile Exports; Notice of MOFCOM and NDRC on Issuing the Measures for the Administration of National Export Bases of Automobiles and Parts and Components (for Trial Implementation); Opinions on Maintaining the Steady Growth of Foreign Trade; 2009 State Council General Office Notice on Automobile Industry Restructuring and Revitalization Planning (for planning period 2009-2011); Notice on Implementation of Online Application for the Central Foreign Trade Development Fund; Opinions of MOFCOM, NDRC, MIIT, MOF, Customs and AQSIQ on Enhancing the Sustainable and Healthy Development of the Export of Automobile Products of China; Notice of Examination Results of the National Automobile and Automobile Parts Export Bases; Opinions on Promoting the Continued Healthy Development of Electromechanical Exports During the 12thFive-Year Plan; Notice of MOFCOM and NDRC on Issuing the Measures for the Administration of National Export Bases of Automobiles and Parts and Components (Revised Draft); MOFCOM, NDRC Accreditation and Assessment of Automobiles and Automobile Parts Export Bases (Draft for Comment); MOF and MOFCOM Notice Regarding Sound Management of the 2011 Foreign Trade Common Services Platform Establishment Fund; MOF and MOFCOM Notice Regarding the Sound Management of the 2010 Common Services Platform Establishment Fund; MOF Notice Regarding Arranging the 2011 Foreign Trade Common Services Platform Establishment Fund; MOFCOM and MOF Notice on Management of Funds To Maintain the Steady Growth of Foreign Trade; Wuhan Automobile and Automobile Parts Status Report and Development Plan (2006-2010); Wuhan Municipal Opinion on Automobile and Automobile Parts Exports; Tianjin Outline of Eleventh Five-Year Plan of Economic and Social Development; Circular of Tianjin Commerce Commission on Printing and Distributing the Measures for the Recognition and Management of Tianjin Automobile and Automobile Parts Export Base Enterprises; Tianjin Notice on the Adjustment of Members of Tianjin National Automobile and Automobile Parts Export Bases; Forwarding the Opinions on Accelerating the Construction of Tianjin National Automobile and Automobile Parts Export Base; Chongqing City Management of Automobile and Automobile Parts Export Base Enterprises; Opinions of the Chongqing Municipal People's Government on the Construction of Automobile and Automobile Parts Export Base; Chongqing Circular on Establishment of a Leading Group for the Construction of Chongqing Automobile and Automobile Parts Export Bases; Chongqing 2011
In addition, it appears that China has failed to comply with its transparency obligations in regards to these export-contingent subsidies. In particular, the United States has explained that the measures appear to be inconsistent with Articles 3, 25.1, 25.2, 25.3, and 25.4 of the SCM Agreement; Article XVI:1 of the
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